THE CHURCH IN TIN TOWN
BY Ellen B Watson
Greenwood, South Carolina
It all began with a tattered Christmas card, a boy who needed help, and a young woman who cared.
Homeland Park Baptist Church had its seed planted in a Christmas card written to a lonely little boy in a reform school. A newspaper account of a youngster in trouble burdened the heart of a young Christian lady, Miss Frances Murphy, who later married Clyde Glenn. At Christmas time she sent a card to the little fellow. In a few weeks a soiled envelope with a child’s handwriting was received. On the same Christmas card that had been sent was this simple message, “Please find my mother and tell her to write me.”
With assistance from postal authorities the mother was finally located in an area south of Anderson known as “Tin Town.” From this meeting with the mother and subsequent visits into the community, the need for God and His Word was felt by Miss Murphy. Feeling the Holy Spirit leading she made plans for a Sunday School. The first meeting was held in one of the homes October 29, 1939.
The Sunday School mission grew, other Christians began to help, and eventually, First Baptist Church erected the first permanent building, just east of the present property. The chapel was dedicated May 6, 1945 and on November 14, 1945 a Southern Baptist Church was organized with thirty three (33) charter members. A few years later six (6) Sunday School rooms were added.
Seeing the potential for growth, a three acre tract of adjoining land was purchased. The present educational building was completed and occupied on June 6, 1954. Plans were started later for a permanent auditorium. This dream was realized and the present auditorium was dedicated September 25, 1966.